Light meter a must for Studio?


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sentlon

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Oct 16, 2005
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#1
just wondering is a light meter is assential for studio lighting?
i personal using the 300D and i believe it has built in light meter and meter spot(correct me if i am wrong).
should i buy a light meter?
 

kcuf2

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Dec 29, 2005
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#2
dun think need la, if just for normal hobby play play, a light meter alone cost a few $k and u can easily buy a good lens and play
 

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vince123123

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#3
I think most light meters are only a few hundred bucks.

kcuf2 said:
dun think need la, if just for normal hobby play play, a light meter alone cost a few $k and u can easily buy a good lens and play
 

jOhO

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Apr 20, 2003
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#4
your camera can't meter the flash, only ambient.

but to answer your question, no it's not totally necessary as u can check the LCD, or more importantly, the histogram and make adjustments from there.

thing is, when u have a light meter, u also have to learn how to use it, and how multiple lights affect the overall exposure.

and yes, it's only a few hundred bux, not a few k...
 

Dec 9, 2005
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#5
A light meter is an essential tool in photography, especially when using strobes. Don't rely on your LCD.

To answer you question, in my opinion, is YES, it is a must.
 

student

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Jul 26, 2004
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#7
I know professional studio photographers who do not use lightmeters.

In that sense, light meters are not essential. If it were so, then these photographers would not be able to make their images.
 

Astin

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#8
My opinion, lightmeter will speed up your studio photo shoots. With a light meter, u can adjust the light to the required f-number faster. Without a light meter, u can also work it out by trial-and-error, take a photo, check the image exposure, not good, adjust light, take another photo, repeat.

The cheapo lightmeter is about $100+, the more expensive one is >$1k, of course they are different...
 

catchlights

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#9
Initially you may use light meter more often in the studio, but when you get more and more experience and familiar with your studio lighting equipments, you can set up a lighting set and shoot without a light meter.
 

photobum

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#11
I started photography in 1976. I bought my first handheld meter (a Minolta V) in 1998, 22 years later. Now, I will not go to a shoot without a handheld meter.
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#12
kcuf2 said:
dun think need la, if just for normal hobby play play, a light meter alone cost a few $k and u can easily buy a good lens and play
A light meter does not cost a few $k. It is about $600-800 for a Sekonic, which in my opinion makes one of the best light meters around. (I think they are more accurate than Minolta).

You will need one with a flash meter for studio. The difference between the meter in your camera is that it is reflected light. Most flash meters can be switched to either incident light or reflected light type. Incident light type measures the light falling on the subject, reflected light type measures the light reflected off the subject.

In my opinion, the incident light measurement is more accurate in the sense that the exposure given will give you the correct shade of tone, no second guessing is required. You can even measure the light even when the subject is not present.

Although with digital, it is very easy to do a shot and look at the preview and histogram, you would still be guessing if the exposure is optimum. It becomes a trial and error approach which is the wrong way to learn studio photography.
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#13
catchlights said:
Initially you may use light meter more often in the studio, but when you get more and more experience and familiar with your studio lighting equipments, you can set up a lighting set and shoot without a light meter.
I agree with this statement to a certain extent. It is ok for shots which are not that critical. I see most studio photographers using this approach also, just guesstimate the power settings and shoot away. But if you want to create the exact effect, then it may not be adequate.

Then again, with digital, it may not be that critical to use a light meter. The shots are basically free anyway. So there is no motivation at all. Before digital, each test shot cost about $1.50 on instant print. Getting your exposure right the first time is a big deal.
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#15
Cheesecake said:
u do not need a light meter for studio photography *if u're using digital cameras*.
Let me rephrase that once more.

u do not _necessarily_ need a light meter for studio photography *if u're using digital cameras*
 

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vince123123

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#16
I concur with Astin's opinion on the use of a light meter.
 

#17
lsisaxon said:
Let me rephrase that once more.

u do not _necessarily_ need a light meter for studio photography *if u're using digital cameras*
''


cool! no worries laa..
i know there're many ppl who still trusts in the good old lightmeter.
but for cheapos like me... hahaha
 

catchlights

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#18
lsisaxon said:
I agree with this statement to a certain extent. It is ok for shots which are not that critical. I see most studio photographers using this approach also, just the power settings and shoot away. But if you want to create the exact effect, then it may not be adequate.

Then again, with digital, it may not be that critical to use a light meter. The shots are basically free anyway. So there is no motivation at all. Before digital, each test shot cost about $1.50 on instant print. Getting your exposure right the first time is a big deal.
During the days I shoot mostly 120 transparecy only, I sometime take the meter reading is just to confirm my F stop are correct, before I shoot a test shot.

Is not guesstimate, if you set the light 3' away from the subjest, it give you f11, double the distant is f5.6, the meter tell you so, tomorrow you set the light at the some spot, it still give you f11 or f5.6, if everyday you are doing the same thing, will you still need to take meter reading everytime you set the lights?

Even that you have a taken a metering, you still have to adjust accordingly base on certain subjects, that's why photographers prefer to shot a test print first, and also for billing reference or for client to approve.

Of couse every photographers still have a meter with them, but not always take out and use.
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#19
catchlights said:
During the days I shoot mostly 120 transparecy only, I sometime take the meter reading is just to confirm my F stop are correct, before I shoot a test shot.

Is not guesstimate, if you set the light 3' away from the subjest, it give you f11, double the distant is f5.6, the meter tell you so, tomorrow you set the light at the some spot, it still give you f11 or f5.6, if everyday you are doing the same thing, will you still need to take meter reading everytime you set the lights?

Even that you have a taken a metering, you still have to adjust accordingly base on certain subjects, that's why photographers prefer to shot a test print first, and also for billing reference or for client to approve.

Of couse every photographers still have a meter with them, but not always take out and use.
Yeah. I agree with this that is provided that your flash head comes with click stops for the power setting (not all flash heads do) or you do not adjust the power at all. Then again, I am someone who is quite bad at estimating distances. At 1m, 40cm more will be 1 stop under and 30cm less will be 1 stop over. ;)
 

student

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Jul 26, 2004
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#20
vince123123 said:
I concur with Astin's opinion on the use of a light meter.
Astin's statement is correct. A light meter is useful, certainly.

The threadstarter's question was

"wondering is a lightmeter is assential (sic) for studio lighting".

And the answer is obvious.
 

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